Supreme Court justice honored by Jewish Bar


The Jewish Bar Association of Michigan (JBAM) presented its inaugural Champion of Justice Award to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard H. Bernstein during a special ceremony October 15. Justice Bernstein was elected to the Supreme Court in 2014, becoming the first blind jurist to earn a seat on the state’s highest court. Justice Bernstein is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan and earned his juris doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law. Pictured at the ceremony (l-r) were Joanna Abramson, Jordan Zuppke, Stan Bershad, Rachel Loebl, JBAM President Jonathan Schwartz, Justice Bernstein, Austin Hirschhorn, Shari Lesnick, Howard Lederman, Ellie Mosko, Frank Mamat, and Andrew Cohen.

Photo by John Meiu

On October 15, the Jewish Bar Association of Michigan (JBAM) hosted its First Annual Champion of Justice Award Ceremony and Dinner, honoring Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard H. Bernstein.  The award recognizes the significant impact of attorneys who have dedicated themselves to the practice of law and improving the justice system.
More than 100 attorneys, judges, and law students attended the sold-out event held at the Skyline Club in Southfield. 

"Both on and off the bench, Justice Bernstein sets an example for us all with his high standards of conduct, civility and positivity, and purpose driven life," said Jonathan H. Schwartz, president of the Jewish Bar Association of Michigan, and a partner at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss.

Talking to those gathered at the ceremony, Bernstein stressed the importance of civility in the legal profession and in our daily discourse. Bernstein also emphasized how, what looks like an insurmountable challenge can work to bring about constructive change.

Referring to his own visual impairment, Bernstein said the personal trials he’s faced have made him a better justice, and encouraged those in attendance to use the opportunities they have as legal professionals to make a positive impact with their lives. 

Proceeds from the event support JBAM's Charles J. Cohen Scholarship, which recognizes and assists law students demonstrating a commitment to the legal community and the community at-large.

JBAM was founded in 2014, both as a nonprofit and special purpose bar association, to promote and unify attorneys, judges, law students and paralegals in Michigan, through a diverse array of social, educational and charitable activities. 

For more information on JBAM, including future events, visit: